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May Outing

Helene Kröller-Müller and Vincent Van Gogh

Our May outing this year took us to the widely known Kröller-Müller museum, across the Dutch border to Otterlo near Arnhem. We had a delightful day out with a comfortable bus ride, weather warm and overcast but not wet, and a happy group of Bridfas members and friends wanting to be pleased. And very pleased we were, too.

To reach the coach entrance for the museum the bus had to drive round part of the periphery road of the Hoge Veluwe National Park and we were able to grasp the size of this wide area of woodland, heathland and fields surrounding the museum.

Once inside, 2 very experienced guides took the 2 groups around the collection which was started about 1909 when Helen Kröller-Müller began to buy paintings of contemporary artists, but in particular those of Vincent van Gogh (about 90) when the art world had not yet recognised his talents. She continued to peruse her hobby and gradually extended her interests to include Oriental ceramics and sculptures and also works of various art directions including French Realism, Impressionists, Pointillism, Cubism etc. all represented by famous artists including Picasso. Our guide was so full of fire and enthusiasm that we could not but be infected too and hardly noticed that 90 minutes had passed.

After a midday lunch break we had time to walk around part of the huge Sculpture Park and admire the works of world famous sculptors such as Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore and Auguste Rodin.

Due to the world financial crash in the 1920s Helene Kröller-Müller was not able to realize her dream of building a museum to exhibit her treasures. A foundation was started to run the estate and the St Hubertus hunting lodge which she and her husband had built in the Park, and the art collection was taken over by the Dutch state and eventually a museum was opened.

It is a very popular leisure time attraction for people interested in art and the flora and fauna of this heath land area with its beautiful rhododendrons then in flower.

You can make use of one of the 1800 white bicycles available to visitors, as did some of our intrepid members to cycle to the St Hubertus hunting lodge where we met up for some refreshment before returning home.

Altogether it was a most relaxing, informative, enjoyable day and we are extremely grateful to Rosi Weber for organising the outing.

The Potato Eaters by Vincent van Gogh